Hotels & Resorts for Small Meetings
By Beth Buehler
With the COVID-19 pandemic and variants that have popped up along the way, it’s fair to say that the increase in small meetings is here to stay. And that’s not a bad thing. Some of the benefits of smaller meetings include having the opportunity to get to know other attendees better, being about to utilize a broader range of venues in Colorado, taking part in cool experiences as a group and catering to individual needs and desires.
I’m going to focus on several hotels and resorts for small meetings in Colorado. It’s nice to find places that are unique, offer dining and activities on site, and in many cases have good locations to get a nice taste of the destination where they are located. Others are more isolated for the ultimate in privacy for gatherings like executive retreats and board meetings.
The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins has a focus on music and a great location in Old Town Fort Collins. Meeting attendees are sure to enjoy the in-room record players and instrument lending library. As a group, check out the Magic Rat, a live music venue, and Sunset Lounge Rooftop Bar, an open-air jazz bar. Activate the Firehouse Alley with your own music or activities and plan a private lunch or dinner on the Terrace. Don’t miss exploring Old Town and having a beer at one of the many local breweries.
Another boutique hotel with a lot of nice touches for smaller groups is Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek, an upscale neighborhood in Denver filled with great shops, restaurants, activities and more. Instead of an instrument lending library, the Halcyon has a gear garage for checking out seasonal outdoor equipment. In addition to meeting rooms for various group sizes, there is year-round rooftop pool and bar with cabanas that can be booked in the winter for a four-course dinner that starts with a seafood soiree and concludes with tabletop s’mores. Take advantage of the chance to curl and look at city skylines with telescopes on the rooftop and take advantage of a large range of amenities included in the nightly resort fee such as coffee drinks, baked treats, fresh fruit, house wines and local beer at the Kitchen Counter; day passes to Denver Botanic Gardens; and access to several of Cherry Creek’s fitness studios such as barre3, CorePower Yoga and SoulCycle.
Also with a prime downtown location, Limelight Hotel Aspen underwent a six-month makeover and began welcoming guests back in November 2021. The upgrades included all 126 guestrooms and suites and public spaces such as the Limelight Lounge, conference room, lobby and bar. During time off from meetings, enjoy the hotel’s popular outdoor pool area and live music during après on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
With 49 guest rooms and various indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, including two rooftop patios, The Eddy Taproom & Hotel is a great new option in Golden. Amenities include Truck Eddy (the property’s food truck with BBQ and shakes), The Taproom that features a hearty mountain menu paired with craft beers on tap, an outdoor lawn with weekly activities, and more. The four-story property celebrates both the mining history and outdoor adventures found in Golden. Check out the historic downtown and premiere rafting and mountain biking options.
Two resorts that work especially well for booking small gatherings and having everything you need on-site are Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs and Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa an hour south of Grand Junction.
Established in 1951, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club operated as private club for more than 60 years. Lucky for groups and all travelers, this peaceful place with spectacular views of Garden of the Gods Park and the Rocky Mountains is ideal for meeting and enjoying time together over a game of golf or tennis, a great meal or a beverage on the patio. Chose from a variety of accommodations ranging from 56 guest rooms and suites to six cottages and 14 casitas. Treat meeting attendees to some pampering at the full-service spa and salon.
Surrounded by the vast lands of the Uncompahgre Plateau, Piñon Mesa and La Sal Mountains, Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in Gateway is an ideal place for small groups to gather and reconnect with nature. John Hendricks, founder and former CEO of the Discovery Channel, created this secluded property to highlight the beauty and adventures of the area. Don’t miss Hendricks’ amazing automobile collection at the Gateway Auto Museum on-site, which also can host receptions and dinners. Book all sorts of activities such as horseback riding at the nearby Palisade Ranch, hiking, biking, off-road and wine country touring, and shooting sports. There are a variety of dining options to choose from and a full-service spa.
If your group appreciates history, Colorado has a lot of iconic properties to choose from but I’ll focus on two: Strater Hotel in Durango and Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.
Strater Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Durango and only two blocks from the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot and museum. Ride the train up to Silverton and back (or return via bus for a quicker trip) to weave through classic Colorado mountain terrain and explore a unique small town. Don’t miss Strater Hotel’s Office Spiritorium for a beverage and The Diamond Belle Saloon for a taste of the Old West.
Hotel Colorado also has easy access to bustling downtown Glenwood Springs over a pedestrian bridge that spans the Colorado River. But there is plenty to do on the Sixth Street side with Hotel Colorado and neighboring Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world’s largest natural hot springs pool. The same man, Walter Devereux, built both, and today Hotel Colorado has an array of recently refurbished meeting space, a beautiful outdoor courtyard for enjoying a drink or meal outdoors, and a lobby that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Consider these hotel and resort venues for small meetings in Colorado. You won’t be disappointed!
Top Photo: Hotel Colorado aglow for the holidays and Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. Courtesy of Visit Glenwood Springs.
Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 17 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.